My suspicions were confirmed when I peeked out the window and spied what appeared to be a sparrow lying on its back and twitching on our front walk. I went outside and fetched the bird lest the neighbour's cat happened to notice it there. It had righted itself by the time I got out there, so I carefully picked it up and put it on top of the hanging bird feeder where it could get its wind back and gather what passed for its senses.
It promptly fell over again, and if not for my surprisingly fast reflexes, would have tumbled to the ground for the second time in less than two minutes. I thought better of the feeder, and took it around to the side of the house where I rested it on our little cinder block wall by the rhubarb. It was not the safest place to leave it, but it was in the sun, and protected from the wind. It had made a half-hearted attempt to flap its wings while I was carrying it back there, so I took that as a good sign that it had not broken its neck in the collision.
I came back into the house for about ten minutes, then went back to check on it. At first, I thought that it had recovered and flown off, but after a few moments of searching, I discovered it lying upside down in the long grass beside the cinder blocks. Its wings were tight at its side, it had its legs pulled up to its chest and its eyes were half-lidded. It looked remarkably dead, or at least in a very deep state of pining for the fjords.
I stood it back upright on the little wall and gave it a gentle squeeze while I was doing so to see if it still showed any signs of life. It did not respond, but it was still quite warm to the touch, so I reasoned that it had either just died moments before I got there, or it was still alive and just gathering its strength. It also remained upright when I put it there, which I attributed to active balancing on its part, rather than fortuitous placement on my part.
I mentioned our unfortunate guest to atara when she got home later, but when we went out to check on it, there was no sign of it. No bird, no bird bits - no evidence that it had ever been there.
Either it recovered and flew off, or the neighbour's cat got a treat this afternoon. I like to think it was the former scenario.